Monday, March 31, 2014

Shamrock Shuffle Race Recap

Thanks to The Crew and Nike Chicago, I won a free race entry to the Shamrock Shuffle this year! This was my first time doing the shuffle and it was a blast! It seems like everyone in Chicago does this race to kick off the spring running season. I've been running all winter so this race was just a fun break from the long(ish) runs of half marathon training.

I went to the Shamrock Shuffle expo on Friday afternoon to try to beat the crowd. I decided to get my easy 4-mile run in by running from the L to Navy Pier (about 4 miles roundtrip). I got my packet and walked around for a bit. Tried a couple samples and bought some Nuun tablets because they are cheaper at expos and I love them for travel. I always love the view of the city from Navy Pier.

Ryan and I had some friends in town this weekend so I took a rest day Saturday to hang out and watch basketball with them all day. Eating fried bar food and drinking beer probably didn't help my time on Sunday but hey, it's March Madness! I did go home at a decent time, picked up a burrito and went to sleep early. But of course my friends came home rowdy and so my sleep was pretty interrupted. So I woke up Sunday tired and a bit dehydrated but I took all of my usual pre-run liquids and met Lindsay to head over to Grant Park.

I was in Corral C, which was so crowded that there was spill over to the outside. The first mile was very crowded and it was hard to go fast. I just wanted to enjoy the race and not use up a ton of energy weaving through people and risking injury so I stayed with the pace of the crowd, which was about 8:30/mile. The temperature was great once I warmed up and I'm still glad I wore long sleeve, long pants, and a headband even though I was a bit hot. I even wore some shamrock socks, which you can kind of see in the pic below. The course weaved through the loop and went by fast and before I knew it, we were going up that treacherous "Roosevelt hill" to the finish. I finished in 42:01 with an average pace of 8:27/mile. Not bad for a fun race and it was a PR since this was my first time running an 8k! This time was actually very similar to a 5-miler I did in Florida at the end of last year (post).

After the race I met up with The Crew (above) and we hung out, trying to pretend it was warm in the sunshine. We then headed over to the Resolution Crew Celebration with NTC Chicago. I was in the "get a PR" crew with Kate, since my goal is to get a PR in the upcoming Indy 500 Mini Marathon. We had a 5-week program leading up to the Shamrock Shuffle with running and cross training. I'm going to continue the pace of the program for the next 5 weeks of training! Below is a picture of our crew at Rockit.

Overall, I enjoyed my first Shamrock Shuffle and loved kicking off the spring race season with a fun race. I did skip my 11-mile long run this weekend so I'm trying to figure out if I should make it up this week or not. I already have to run 12 miles next weekend!

Did you run or watch the Shamrock Shuffle this weekend?

Do you make-up long runs if you miss them in a week of training?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Healthy Fit Goddess is going abroad

It's Friday Favorites time and my ultimate favorite this week is that I made a huge life decision which will affect all of you, my readers, in the coming months. I'm attending INSEAD business school to pursue my MBA!! I'll be at the Fontainebleau, France (near Paris) campus starting in August and then planning to switch to the Singapore campus in January until I graduate in July 2015. I'm so excited for this opportunity and I can't wait to share my travels and attempts to stay healthy with you while I'm gone.

I started the business application process three years ago when I took the GMAT because I didn't think government work was exactly what I wanted to do. When I left my job last October to launch Nuclear Undone, I finally took the plunge to also apply to business schools so I could really gain the skills necessary to run a successful business and grow. My dream had always been to attend the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and so I worked on that application first. Meanwhile, I started researching other schools and realized that some international programs sounded pretty awesome and would provide me with an MBA in just a year (instead of 2 years like U.S. programs).

So I also applied to IE Business School and INSEAD, both of which I received admission to. The more I learned about the INSEAD program, the more I was convinced that it was the right school for me. I want to do international work and the multiple regions that I would get to experience also have growing nuclear energy sectors. (IE is in Spain which is not a growing nuclear energy sector.)

My interviews for INSEAD were with alumni in Chicago, one of which works for the nuclear power sector, and we had great conversations. I learned from them that the intense year in school would change my outlook and that I would also make lifelong friends around the world. In addition, I realized that I know three people from Purdue (my alma mater) that are currently at INSEAD, both the France and Singapore campuses, and loving it. I asked them for advice and eventually decided that if I get in, I'm going. I was so excited to get that acceptance email and even more ecstatic to hear that I was granted the Forte Foundation Fellowship. I have a scholarship and also the support of female business leaders with the Forte Foundation and I'm so honored to be a fellow.

I was waiting to hear back from UChicago until I made my final decision and I found out yesterday that I was put on the wait list. This of course made my decision to attend INSEAD really easy but it was also disappointing to hear. UChicago is one of the best universities in the world (not just the MBA program) and also the birthplace of nuclear energy. But INSEAD is a better program for what I want to do post-MBA…grow my business internationally. Plus, it's going to be lots of fun to travel and meet people from all over the world.

So what happens to Healthy Fit Goddess? I'm going to keep blogging as normal until the end of summer (if it ever even comes in Chicago) and then I'll update the header with the one above. I'll still blog about health, fitness, food, and beauty but with a travel twist. I've always shared my travels on here so now it's just going to be a lot more of it! I'll take you from the French countryside in Fontainebleau, through historic European cities, to the bustling streets of Singapore, and the exquisite beaches of Southeast Asia. I'm so excited for this journey and I hope that you tag along!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Week 4 - Indy 500 Mini Marathon Training

Here's week 4 training for the Indy 500 Mini Marathon on May 3. This plan is an intermediate program with the hopes of getting a PR and finally beating my 1:55 half marathon time. I made this plan with the help of The Crew and Kate of The Four Percent.

Also, The Crew and NTC Chicago are awesome and gave me a free entry to the Shamrock Shuffle on March 30th! The race is an 8k and it feels like everyone in Chicago does it, even the non-runners. Registration is still open if you're interested. Should be a fun time!

Indy Mini Training Week 4

Monday - short run
6 mile run at 9:05 pace with Jessica (it was so hot and humid in Florida, I was dying)

Tuesday - WOD at CrossFit Estero
My sister is trying out crossfit and going through a basics program so I joined her! We did a lot of squats so of course my hamstrings hurt after.

Wednesday - short run
30 minute run (3-4 miles)

Thursday - WOD at Cheetah Crossfit
5 rounds:
3 Squat Cleans, 65% of clean 1RM
KB Farmer’s Carry – to GHD machine and back (25lb)
50 DU (3x single unders)
KB Farmer’s Carry – to GHD machine and back (25lb)
3 Squat Clean, 65% of clean 1RM (45lb)
+ Rest 90seconds

Friday - recovery
walk 2 miles (yes, walking is great recovery! Plus it was above freezing here in Chiberia)

Saturday and Sunday - rest
Was going to do my long run Saturday but I stayed out too late with my new business school friends, oops! Then I still wasn't feeling it Sunday so moved 10 mile run to Monday.

Monday - long run
10 miles at 8:39 pace
This run felt really great! I'm glad I took the whole weekend off! This is one the fastest paces that I've run all winter and it felt fantastic. That half marathon PR is definitely within reach :)

What was your best/favorite workout this week?

Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY to win tickets to see Jillian Michaels on April 9 in Chicagoland!

Monday, March 24, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Tickets to Jillian Michaels Maximize you Life Tour Chicagoland April 9

From her tough love on The Biggest Loser to her intense workout videos, Jillian Michaels is one bad ass trainer and great motivator when it comes to overall life success. Her story is a true inspiration as someone that started with nothing but made it big. My favorite is Jillian's podcast, in which she talks about life in general and also answers listeners' questions about health and fitness. I like Jillian's approach to health, it's hard work every day and takes time, but can be achieved with the right mindset. Diets aren't sustainable and lifestyle change is necessary. 

As you've probably heard, Jillian Michaels is taking her wisdom on the road in her Maximize your Life Tour and heading to the Chicago area on Wednesday, April 9th. And I've got a pair of tickets to giveaway to one lucky winner! All you have to do is comment on this post telling me one question you would ask Jillian about health and fitness and then fill out the Rafflecopter app below. Just the comment is required for entry but you can tweet about the giveaway and follow me on social media for extra entries. If the Rafflecopter app doesn't work for you, just say so in your comment and I will add your entry manually.

One winner for the two tickets will be chosen this Friday, so enter by Thursday (March 27) at midnight! Contest is only open to residents of the greater Chicago area that can attend the event on April 9 in Joliet. The tickets will be available for you at will-call. Travel to the event will not be provided but note that there are trains from Chicago to Joliet.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Favorites

Favorite Run
A hot and sweaty 6 miles with Jessica

Favorite St. Patty's Drink
Green Beer!

Favorite Beach Day
In Naples with my sister, Olivia

Least Favorite
Snow back in Chicago...

What were your favorites this week?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Healthy Vegan Raw Creme Brûlée

I have a pretty intense sweet tooth which has been leading me to make bad decisions lately (i.e. cupcakes). So I decided to make a healthy dessert and immediately consulted Peggy K's recipes. She is the queen of healthy and tasty desserts and most of her recipes that I've tried have come out fabulous. You know that "healthy" desserts don't always come out the best but Peggy sticks to more "liquidy" instead of "fluffy" recipes, which you need flour and eggs for.

This creme brûlée is so easy to make if you have a Vitamix or good food processor. The ingredients are easy as well, I already had everything at home, no extra shopping required. But if you don't have some of these ingredients, I recommend shopping on in bulk. Even with the shipping cost, it's cheaper than the bulk section at whole foods and the stuff usually arrives in 2 business days.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 cup almond or coconut milk
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1/3 cup coconut sugar, plus extra for topping
1 small ripe banana
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp real maple syrup
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
banana slices for bottom

  • In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine milk, cashews, coconut sugar, banana, coconut oil, maple syrup, chia seeds, and vanilla and blend until smooth.
  • TIP: If you don't have a good food processor/blender, soak the cashews for about 2 hours to soften them. Also, grind the chia seeds in coffee grinder.
  • Layer banana slices across bottom of four ramekins (I don't have these so I just used a glass container)
  • Refrigerate for about an hour (you can skip this if you need dessert fast)
  • Remove from fridge and sprinkle coconut sugar to completely cover the top of each ramekin. Using a blowtorch, caramelize sugar until bubbling and golden. If you're fancy enough to have a blowtorch (I don't), just place the dessert under the broiler for a few minutes until golden (see picture below).
  • Refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

My apartment smelled amazing after taking the creme brûlée out of the oven and it tasted amazing after I waited impatiently for it to cool. What makes this dessert healthier than something with processed sugar is the coconut sugar because it's closer to something found in nature and thus has fiber and nutrients that will not make your insulin spike when you eat it. Again, is the best place to get coconut sugar. It is not sweetened coconut flakes and does not even taste like coconut in my opinion. The rest of the ingredients are also very healthy!

If you like this recipe you should read Peggy K's book, Must Have Been Something I Ate and her newest book Kitchen Cures. She is a holistic nutritionist that can heal your ailments with food. 

How do you satisfy your sweet tooth?

Have you ever had a "healthy" dessert fail? 
Mine was an attempt at making paleo and vegan muffins.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 3 - Indy 500 Mini Marathon Training

Here's week 3 training for the Indy 500 Mini Marathon on May 3. This plan is an intermediate program with the hopes of getting a PR and finally beating my 1:55 half marathon time. I made this plan with the help of The Crew and Kate of The Four Percent.

My training was a bit off this week because I was in Florida for half of it (visiting the rents and warming up). So I did my cross training while I was still in Chicago and lots of running in Naples. Every time I felt too hot and was dripping humid sweat, I just thought of how cold it's been all winter.

Oh, and The Crew and NTC Chicago are awesome and gave me a free entry to the Shamrock Shuffle on March 30th! The race is an 8k and it feels like everyone in Chicago does it, even the non-runners. Registration is still open if you're interested. Should be a fun time!

Indy Mini Training Week 3

Crossfit WOD at Cheetah Crossfit
2 times through the following – 80%:

2 min AMRAP:
Meters on Rower
+ Rest 2 min

2 min AMRAP:
5 burpee box jump, (20/24”)
10 Double Unders
+ Rest 2 min

2 min AMRAP:
15 Air Squats
+ Rest 2 min

2 min AMRAP:
5 Pull Ups
30 Walking Lunges
+ Rest 2 min

Spinning at Real Ryder Revolution

4-mile run at 9:05 pace

Thursday - Rest Day

9-mile long run at 8:52 pace
It was a brisk morning and the run felt great!

Recovery day with my Dad!
5-mile bike to beach
2.5 (ish) mile run on beach
5-mile bike back home

20 minutes of 1 minute sprint, 1 minute rest
Plus: Scientific 7-minute workout

What was your favorite/best workout last week?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Favorites - from Florida

I'm in Florida this week visiting my family and well, just trying to warm up a bit. It's been a good week so far. Some working, but mainly just enjoying the sun and good food.

Favorite Treat
Slovak Crepes at the Alpine Restaurant in Naples

Favorite Hangout
Vanderbilt Beach in Naples, classic high school...

Favorite Dinner
Peruvian food, including ceviche! Full post coming soon.

Favorite Run
9 miles along Bonita Beach this morning in perfect "chilly" Florida weather

What were your favorites this week?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Common Cold Cure: Turmeric Milk

There actually is no cure for the common cold because it's just your immune system getting rid of unwanted toxins, shutting down, and basically saying F*** YOU. Colds are common during the winter months because your immune system is at a weaker state. Not getting enough sunshine, eating unhealthy "comfort" foods, and lack of activity also contribute to this. You can stay healthy all winter long, and even boost your immune system to fight off the flu if you contract the virus.

Some ways to strengthen your immune system in the winter include:

Sometimes, I feel a cold coming on with a sore throat and/or runny nose so I immediately take every single healthy supplement in my kitchen, take the day off from working out, and get enough sleep. I only got sick once this winter and well, it's the worst winter that I've ever lived through so I'm not surprised. However, I used to be the person that was sick all winter long and that no longer happens so I think the above steps are helping.

Green tea and honey is great for a sore throat and as an immune booster, but I recently tried turmeric milk and it did wonders. Turmeric is prevalent in Indian cuisine and they say it helps slow aging and even prevent cancer. You can easily add it to your daily meals because the taste is quite mild, despite the bright color. I thought the milk would taste disgusting but it was actually not that bad and made my throat feel better immediately.

Healing Turmeric Milk

1 cup almond or coconut milk
1 tsp honey or agave nectar
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
dash of ginger
dash of black pepper
drop of vanilla extract

Add milk to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and stir in the rest of the ingredients. The spices, besides turmeric, are optional for taste, but they have their own healing powers. Black pepper helps the absorption of turmeric. Add more honey or agave if it's too bitter. Drink up while warm!

What are your natural tips for fighting the common cold?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Jordan's Black Bean Salsa

My friend Jordan is a pretty great cook and she gave me this awesome salsa recipe back in college. So when I got invited to a blogger brunch party this past Sunday, I decided to make it because I knew it would be a hit, and it was! Seriously, the bloggers were like, you need to post this recipe ASAP! So here it is, the super-easy and very delicious black bean salsa.

1 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 8.5 oz can corn, drained and rinsed
2 beefsteak tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
2 limes, juiced
1-2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 jalepeno chopped (optional)
1 Tbsp. hot sauce (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Just chop and mix all ingredients! Add more vinegar, olive oil, hot sauce, salt, and pepper to adjust taste. You can make the salsa the day before serving to let the ingredients soak in the lime but add the avocado just before serving. Scoop-type chips work best with this dip. Also great for tacos.

Want more of Jordan's recipes? Let me know in the comments and I'll try to rope her in to guest blogging. She also gardens :)

What fresh fruits/veggies are you looking forward to this spring?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

10-Week Intermediate PR Indy 500 Mini Half Marathon Training Program

Last week officially kicked off my 10-week training plan for the Indy 500 Mini Marathon on May 3. This plan is an intermediate program with the hopes of getting a PR and finally beating my 1:55 half marathon time. I made this plan with the help of The Crew and Kate of The Four Percent. Intermediate means that I should have a running and training "base" before starting. I think that, even given the horrible winter, I have at least somewhat of a base. I've definitely been cross training and I have run (outside) at least once a week.

The training plan is basically the same every week: two shorter runs, two cross-training workouts, a track workout or tempo run, a long run, and a rest day. I don't have to do the workouts on the specified days so I'll just mark them as I get through the week. I'll be doing Tuesday and Saturday runs with the The Crew at Fleet Feet and Road Runner, respectively. Cross training will involve NTC workouts, Crossfit, and anything else I can find.

So week one was a bust because I got sick and didn't even do the Pulaski 10k. I think my body just gave up on this insanely cold winter that we've had. I did get to check out Shred415 and it was awesome and then week 2 went pretty well!

Indy Mini Training Week 2

3.12 miles at 10:30 pace


Spinning at Real Ryder Revolution

6.14 miles at 9:23 pace

Track workout with NTC
15 x 300m repeats at 48-55 seconds

7.79 miles at 9:30 pace with The Crew
It was cold, windy, and snowy. Pretty awful on the lake but I got through it with my fellow crewsers :)

Crossfit Games Open WOD 14.2 at RNCF (modified obviously)
on the 3-minute:
2 rounds:
10 overhead squats (I did front squats at 45#)
10 pull-ups (green band)
then 12, then 14, etc...
I got to the 3rd round, 2nd round of squats…getting back into crossfit is hard!

What was your favorite/best workout this week?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Favorites

Favorite Event
Windy City Blogger Collective Oscar Party

Favorite View
More snow! (OK, not really a favorite.)

Favorite Spring Teaser
Spring Collection Preview at DAVIDsTEA

Favorite Drink
Homemade Frappuccino
(coffee, almond/coconut milk, coconut sugar, ice cubes in the vitamix)

Favorite Kitty Pic

What were your favorites this week?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

DAVIDsTEA Spring Collection Preview

Last night I joined the Windy City Blogger Collective At DAVIDsTEA to try out the new spring collection, which comes out in stores and online today!

Look at that selection of teas! I love tea soo much.

Taco Joint catered the event with some tacos and the delicious guacamole above. It had mango in it and salsa on top, very good!

Yes, I'm drinking an ICED tea because this was the SPRING collection preview. (It snowed in Chicago again today.)

I tried the blue lagoon and cool cucumber. The blue lagoon is a fruity white tea and very refreshing, tastes best iced. The cool cucumber is a pretty strong black tea with real cucumber. I think it's good hot and cold and a great afternoon drink.

Do you drink tea, or coffee, or both?

What's your favorite type of tea, and iced or hot?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Weights and Treadmills: Shred415 Review

Some of my fittest friends in Chicago swear by Shred415 and I finally got a chance to check it out last week! I of course wanted to do a class with amazing trainer and friend Kate Hiipakka. Her mantra is the a one-hour workout is just 4% of your day, well, Shred415 is definitely the toughest 4% of your day. The studio was conceived by Bonnie Micheli & Tracy Roemer, friends who wanted a workout class with  body work, weights, and running. Check out their recent interview on Maria Shriver's website, you know I love a good entrepreneurship story!

Shred415 is a 1-hour high-intensity interval training class. The studio is divided into two sections, the floor and the treadmills, or "treads." The class is also divided in half, so you can start either on the floor or treadmills. It was suggested to start on the floor if you're a runner so you can end on the treadmill and go all out. So basically you do 15 minutes on the floor, 15 on the treadmill, 15 back on the floor, and 15 on the treadmill. You get a little bit of rest in between sections and sometimes between the exercises, but not much, you're pretty much working the whole hour! I went at night so it was too dark in the studio to take pics, but here are some pics from the website:

I normally don't like full hour-long workouts but Shred415 goes by really fast because of the 15-minute intervals. On the floor, we did things like lunges, squats, push-ups. There was also some intense ab work on the step. Each station has a variety of weights so you can choose. The treadmill part was really fun for me because I've never done a workout class with a treadmill! I've been running all winter but I haven't done any speed work or track workouts so pushing myself to go fast on the treadmill was great. Actually, a really fantastic way to get some sprints in when the sidewalks are too icy in the winter. Again this part is also very scaleable because you choose your speed on the treadmill so no worries, you won't fall behind!

I was pretty exhausted after an hour and my legs were sore the next day. The mix of weights and cardio is really a great workout and much more effective than a slower run on the treadmill or just doing body work. Also, Shred415 employs some of the best trainers in the city. I'm amazed at how Kate was able to manage both sides of the class, I would get so confused. 

Shred 415 is a one-of-a-kind high-intesity and fun workout in Chicago. I went to the Lincoln Park studio but they also have locations in Old Town and North Shore and a new studio opening soon in Wicker Park! Follow Shred415 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and let me know if you decide to check it out!

*Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Shred415 but they did provide me with a complimentary class in exchange for a review on my blog.